I look at my boys and I see in their eyes what the next 38 years will bring…and it gives me the hope and courage to carry on today.
By 2050, they are estimating that the world’s population will reach more than 9 billion. It’s hard to imagine a world more packed with people than we are today, but I realize that this is truly my children’s future. And as an active member in production agriculture, it becomes somewhat my responsibility.
In the next 38 years, we will have to figure out ways to grow more food on less land, all while integrating methods from yesterday, methods from today and methods not-yet-thought-of…or at least not-yet-realized. We will be working with a consumer that is actively involved and engaged in their day-to-day food selection. We will be working alongside every type of operation imaginable, all for a common goal of feeding those that are hungry, at a price that everyone can afford.
In the next 38 years, we will have to figure out ways to ensure transitions from one generation to another is a smooth, fair process that doesn’t bankrupt one generation for the benefit of another. We will be integrating the experience and knowledge of the older generation, while harnessing and utilizing the passion and energy of the younger. And the two shall intermingle with fewer battles and less hurt feelings.
In the next 38 years, we will have to figure out ways to ensure the seed sources that our father used, all while moving forward and improving upon those varieties, to accomplish the impossible and make production possible on land that was otherwise barren. We will work side-by-side with researchers and engineers to improve upon equipment and technology, so that the bottom line is worthwhile, yet our resources are conserved to the highest point possible.
In the next 38 years, my sons will be taking over our operation, if they choose to do so. They will be bringing their families into a lifestyle that has been our heritage for three generations. And they will be laying the groundwork to continue that legacy.
And the most important part? The work and advancements that we are working on today are an integral part of this equation.
In the next 38 years, my sons will no longer be the future of agriculture...they will BE agriculture, and they will be preparing for the next generation. And the paths we make today will show them the way.